Tag Archives: hard or hearing

Eight years and counting! Amazing.

February 2007
February 2007

Today, I mark the eighth anniversary of my Cochlear Implant.  Life couldn’t have been better than it has been in the last eight years. It’s amazing how well technology has come in less than ten years ago, when a decision was made to go from hearing aids to bionic technology, aka a Cochlear Implant.

amtraktrip-1.jpgWhere would I have been today – if I hadn’t chosen to get a Cochlear Implant back in 2007? Just a reminder to all, this anniversary date was for the day I had my surgery in 2007, the actually activation date took place two weeks later around the week of the 20th-22nd.

I’ll likely write-up a more detailed blog on the day my activation took place – even though, I’ve written about it several times through the years, but this time is likely to be more detail – perhaps, I might just make that into a small video on my YouTube Channel? We shall see?

Only God knows that answer, but the cards on the table were turned over on the stakes of gambling with life. A chance I took became an opportunity of life and a gamble that won on the merits of a jackpot of sorts, it seems to feel that way from the beginning, but the truth and honestly lies in the heart and soul.

I couldn’t have been happier today, than, I have been since that fateful day of my own infamy took place – I go under the knife and my whole world changes dramatically, that family and friends all have acknowledged that the transformation I took from the past life of thirty-nine years to heart and soul of eight years into a post era that for changed the lives of those I known my entire life comes to a crying stone and tears streamed into memories of the past as the future wanes forward into the twenty-first century.

It was a good choice and a wise one to begin with.

Change brings life and magic into the people

ChangeRick Dancer and I were having a meeting late yesterday and we talked about “change,” the kind of change that inspires others to seek, investigate and execute to perfections, i.e., to hear, to speak as well as to read.

“Change is something, some folks don’t want to play – it’s not their game, it’s their enemy, their foe and the nightmare that keeps them awake at all hours of the night,” as I often remind myself.

Hearing loss is their world and for some, it’s their only means of life. A world with no sound, a world in complete silence, as they say, it’s the opposite to the world of hearing, where you may need change – can be a scary demon.

I remember the very first day I heard my Mother’s voice, on the day of my activation in February 2007 – our world changed forever. Thirty-nine years of Profound Deafness came to a screeching halt, because, I took an elective decision and set my sights on changing the way, I had been hearing the world – something of an epidemic of sorts, something that tormented my life as it was spiraling downward, it inspired change, an action, an elective state of oversight, that had once eluded me for decades.

Watching those tears stream down my Mother’s cheeks and hearing her voice for the first time, since losing my hearing – was something a changed world would do – not just “our world,” but, that of our entire family, minus several relatives who weren’t around to see the change, the transformation and all since, they passed and returned to heaven.

Today, that change has given me a new lease on life. A new perspective with a whole new dimension of what technology can do and how it can change one’s world from a deaf and hard of hearing perspective to a more success in transformation from epidemic to electrified unity in hearing the world as I once remembered and envisioned in my early years of life until the day of infamy.

It’s the profound mission of those who want to hear the sounds of life, nature and the world has a whole – the walk across the bridge seem to fit the bill as to those indeed seeking change and more.

Take a look at this video as Rick’s eyes swelled when he spoke about the change and transformation among the students he recently seen, while at South Eugene High School during a school assembly at the high school earlier last week.


Change isn’t just about hearing loss and deafness, it’s about the people, the one’s we see everyday, the one’s that are seeking change are the one’s who dwell on the magic and transformations and the lives they change on a daily basis – Change can be your best friend.

Perhaps, this is what change is all about? The perspectives with a positive light which brings the harmony in all and gives them far greater perspectives in seeing through the light where the tunnel shines, there’s magic to be seen.

Christmas Magic – Finally?

Every since, I wrote my last blog article – something out of the Christmas blue took a 360 degree turnaround for a the better, rather than the ugly world of – “see, I told you sooo,” mentality! Now, just how the hell that happen? I dunno? But, I’d never expected it to happen in the first place – even though, when I went up for last mapping on my refurbished speech processor for Cochlear Implant last week in Portland, it didn’t seem like it was going to happen from the start, as Me and my Audiologist both thought, “this was a done deal – ain’t gonna happen bro!”

So back to “Trackcity, USA,” I go…

Nucleus 6 Sound Processor
Nucleus 6 Sound Processor

Well, guess it happened – literally! Another mission from “heaven”. That’s what likely threw me on the curve for the last week and half, thinking I was under the “George Bailey curse” of thoughtful thinking?

So here’s the news folks – I’m getting the Nucleus 6 Processor upgrade after all – “hooha!!”

Somehow, I still want to know how the game plan all changed with all these strange turn of events, that had me plagued with some doubting suspense right from the start and more?

Ultimately, I was ambushed! Not, by warfare, hacking or the silliness of some YouTube dogchow named, Greg Benson! Gotta love Greg’s YouTube channel Medicore Films – but, that’s not why I was ambushed to being with – I’m well, literally “ambushed, ambushed, ambushed!” Ok, not time to call in the cavalry or General George Custer to the rescue – not, just yet.

What’s really weird about this entire ordeal is that it’s nearly Christmas and it’s, “the most wonderful time of the year,” as they say – ironically, it’s still a long walk back to “Bedford Falls,” the home of ole George Bailey and I think I’ve found my way back in the snow drifts that seem to keep popping up outta nowhere!

Now, that I’ve gotten the good news, that I’m actually getting my hands and feet wet on a spanking brand new Nucleus 6 Processor and an assortment of goodies along with it, “Chapter 2” of my Cochlear Implant journey is about to begin before the start of the New Year – now, how good is that for a Christmas Present from the Heavens!

As should say – “let the games begin! and bring on the Christmas magic of the season!”

Happy Anniversary: Year number 5!

105829  Five years ago this month, I was about to change my life for the second time, in thirty-nine years in 2007. Sometime this year, marks forty-five years of living with a hearing loss and a disability that forever changed my entire course of my life from the beginning.

It all began in 1968, while living on my Grandfather’s farm in rural Douglas County, Oregon. I was just a tad kid at age three, playful and full of everyday life as any three year old would be. Than, all a sudden, one day, the most dramatic event of my life took place, I lost the hearing I was born with in my left ear, than one year later, in my right ear.

Continue reading Happy Anniversary: Year number 5!

Is communication a skill or tool?

A couple days ago, while catching up with some much needed email, I stumbled upon an interesting email posted on the Nucleus Forum, which is for those who have received a Cochlear Implant – about a Connecticut Mother going on the defense of her 12 year old Son’s “interim swim coach” for having, a total disregard for her Son’s hearing impairment.

This young man’s Mother is furious, that her Son is being denied a fighting chance to communicate with the current interim coach of the swim team. However, previous coaches on the team and fellow teammates have never had a problem with communicating with the young man, who has showed signs of being an accomplished competitive swimmer.

Her Son wears a Cochlear Implant, a device, that is far greater, than today’s hearing aid technology and has to be surgically implanted in the inner ear by a qualified surgeon. I myself have a Cochlear Implant and as does radio talk show personality Rush Limbaugh.

I lost my own hearing at the young and ripe age of three and four perspective in both my left and right ears in 1968-‘69. I have come a long way in understanding, what life has given me in having a disability. I’m not physically disabled, as I can walk, talk, swim, jump, ride a bike and all the daily things a normal life can enjoy – but, hearing the daily rituals of nature and the hearing world is a completely different monster than Freddy Kruger on Elm Street.

Communication has always been the barrier between those with normal hearing and those with a hearing loss. Many folks aren’t really educated about what hearing loss is – but, their conclusions is always the simple thing – “they can’t hear!”

Actually, it’s the opposite, those with a hearing loss can hear and communicate effectively with those who have the misconception of accepting the fact they can become the most important communications tool in a deaf and hard of hearing person’s life, if they learn to educate themselves on how to communicate between the two cultures.

Simple tools of the trade are widely available at one’s dispersal, if they are willing to use it to accommodate the benefits of those with a hearing loss? If they choose not to use them, life becomes a political boiling point where the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) comes into play in accommodating those with such disabilities, as hearing loss and more.

The ADA by the way is a Federal Law that protects those with disabilities and brings in a broader range of rights to those with disabilities.

The simple tools of the trade can be as easy as a pencil, pen and paper or an erase board with erasable ink or taking a class in American Sign Language is importantly easy as learning your ABC’s with finger spelling. In fact, I didn’t learn ASL until I was in junior high school from grades 7 thru 9th grade.

I have always wondered why people with normal hearing have always viewed those with hearing loss or any other kind of disability as a triad of urgency, an unjustified disgrace and a victim of bulling as well. People with disabilities are human, as those with normal hearing. The disgrace and bully tactics of those with such impairments not complicates their lives more, but also frustrates those trying to make their lives as simple as possible without distraction, novelty and fanfare.

In the forty three years, that, I have learned about my hearing impairment, I have come to learn, there are many more with hearing loss around the world. It degrades the fact, that many talented people have been passed on for other’s with similar experiences and traits and better excuses from those in the hearing world. It’s just the opposite – those with a hearing loss can function as well, as those with normal hearing, you would be amazed at how many of these talented people with a hearing loss can achieve such success with their own disabilities.

Think Actress Marlee Matlin, who appeared in the movie the “Children of a Lesser god” with Actor William Hurt, she later went on and had her own network show about a police or attorney specialist with the District Attorney’s Office defending those with a wide range of cases – even her ASL interpreter also starred in the show along side her.

I hope this young man mentioned earlier about having a rift with his interim swim coach can find some dialogue in making life easier for the two foes, rather than beating a dead horse to the ground. The coach needs a learning curve in communication and technology.

He could make life easier for himself, if he came to terms of accepting the young man’s talents and abilities as person and competitive swimmer, life would be much earlier for the two foes and their enemies could be healed to peacetime efforts and forgiveness and misunderstanding.

But it seems to me the recreational board seems to be playing along as the “Scrooge” of Sam’s swimming abilities as a competitive swimmer on a recreational swim team. This young man deserves a fighting chance and a medal of honor for standing up for his right to compete on his team.

I remember a story back in the 1970’s of a young college student named, “RUDY”, his story was based on a true story realizing his dream to play football for Norte Dame, even though he was the shortest of all the players on the team, his fellow teammates rallied behind him and showed support and strong objections of the school’s coach for not letting him play in the four years he had been in college – He finally played and helped his team win the game. Rudy was the ONLY player in the school’s history to be carried off the field for a historic moment as the players and the crowd chanted “Rudy” numerous times until the head coach finally caved in to the crowd, he went in for two plays and the rest was written in history.

Sam’s plight can see the same visions, if he see’s through the same tunnel as Rudy did on that historic day at Norte Dame, he’ll be just as successful in his endeavors as an accomplished swimmer.

Keep the faith and it will heal the wonders of life – it’s that simple with common sense.